herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Miracle baby Mila all smiles after escaping fire horror

Mila Healy (3 months) and and her aunt Lola Murphy (2) who are recovering from the fire at their home at Gloucester Place on Tuesday November 25, 2014.
Mila Healy (3 months) and and her aunt Lola Murphy (2) who are recovering from the fire at their home at Gloucester Place on Tuesday November 25, 2014.
Derek Healy and Charlene Murphy with baby Mila Murphy. They espcaped from a burning building on Gloucester Place Lwr, Dublin 1
Hero Mark Furlong (left) and Baby Mila Murphy with her parents Derek Healy and Charlene Murphy (right)
The scene on Gloucester Place in Dublin. Inset, rescuer Mark Furlong
Mark Furlong, pictured at The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.
Fire
Firefighters in a hoist pictured at The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.
The scene of the fire at The Gloucester Place

Miracle blaze girls Mila Healy and Lola Murphy were all smiles today as they prepared to leave hospital.

The little girls are due to be discharged from Temple Street hospital, thankfully uninjured after the fire that ripped through their home in Dublin.

Mila (thee months) was thrown by her dad Derek inot the arms of hero Mark Furlong (20) who had reced to the scene when he heard their shouts for help at 5am on Tuesday.

And Lola (2) was dropped inot the arms of another neighbour at the back of the house.

Derek today described the girls as "my two little heroes".

Speaking from the Mater Hospital where he is at his partner Charlene Murphy's bedside, Derek (26) told the Herald he knew in his heart that hero Mark would catch Mila safely.

"I had to let her go. It was the only way I knew to save her," he said.

Six people were hospitalised after jumping or being thrown to safety, but Charlene and her mother Edel remain in hospital today having suffered broken bones while escaping the blaze.

“Edel was on the floor below us, and her little girl Lola was in her room with her,” Derek explained.

“I was upstairs feeding Mila so I was actually awake. Edel started shouting that the house was on fire.

 “I think she smelled the smoke, but the flames took hold so quickly that there was no way out down the stairs because the fire started somewhere in the hall.

“Edel ran into her son Gary’s room and got him up, and I knew they were going to try and get out the back, but that left me, Charlene and Mila up on the top floor,” he added.

“The house was filling with smoke and I just knew we had to get out quick.

“I was shouting out the window for help and I knew that I had to get  Mila out of the smoke, so I had to hold her out the window, I

had no choice. Then I saw two lads running up the road towards us,” he said.

“I shouted at one of them to catch Mila.

“I was holding her out far enough to clear the roof on the lower floor below me and I had to let her go. It was the only way I knew to save her.”

But Derek had full confidence in the stranger below into whose arms he was going to trust his tiny baby daughter.

“I let her go. I saw her drop. But I knew 100pc that the lad was going to catch her. Thank God he did,” he said.

“Then I climbed out and dropped on to the sloping roof below and then down on to the ground, but when Charlene

was coming out she fell awkwardly.”

Derek watched as Charlene crashed on to the sloping roof and then got thrown to the ground below.

She suffered a fractured pelvis and a gashed chin in the drop, but it is possible that bouncing off the lower roof broke her fall and saved her

life.

Charlene’s mother Edel (43) has told how it was hearing little Mila coughing that first alerted her to the fire.

“Then I smelled the smoke myself. I saw the smoke and I shouted up to tell Derek and the others,” she said from her hospital bed.

“I jumped out the back of the house with Gary and Lola (her son and daughter). I didn’t know if the rest of the family were dead or alive,” she said.

“The others jumped out the front but I didn’t know for ages if they made it. It was either jump or die for us all,” Edel explained.

The family are now staying with a wide circle of family around the city as they try to piece their lives back together.

“People have been buying us nappies and clothes, and I have heard that the local community are raising funds for us which will help replace other things like the pram and buggy and things. Everyone is being brilliant,” Derek said.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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